World Economic Forum on Africa to witness record participation

20:54, April 29, 2010      

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The World Economic Forum announced on Thursday that nearly 1,000 participants from 85 countries will participate in the 20th World Economic Forum on Africa to be held in Dar es Salaam, 5-7 May 2010.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete will host the meeting, which this year explores the theme "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy", said the Forum press release after the press conference held here.

"Africa is a continent full of potential. Africa has been growing despite the economic instability that is facing the world today. We will have the opportunity to examine the strategy of Africa for today to ensure that there is a better tomorrow." Kikwete was quoted as saying.

"2010 is a special year for both the World Economic Forum, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Africa meeting, and Africa, which is marking 50 years since the start of the independence movement that transformed the continent's geopolitical landscape," said Katherine Tweedie, Director, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum. "It is fitting to celebrate this milestone year by hosting the Africa meeting for the first time in East Africa, with the strong support of His Excellency President Kikwete, and the government and business community of Tanzania. At this pivotal point, as Africa and the rest of the world seek answers to the economic crisis, the meeting will bring together leaders under the theme' Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategyto find real solutions," she added.

The economic crisis has acted as a wake-up call to speed up implementation of long-discussed reforms. Emerging markets, including those in Africa, are among the first to show signs of a recovery and are forecast to increasingly contribute to global growth in the next decade. The meeting will provide leaders with a platform for how they are facing up to the challenge and using the crisis as an opportunity to redesign a sustainable roadmap for Africa's future.

Eleven African heads of state/government including Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa and Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, will take part in the Forum, as well as Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda, Prime Minister of Tanzania; Ali Mohammed Shein, Vice- President of Tanzania; Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Tunis; Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva; Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili, Vice-President, Africa Region, World Bank, Washington DC; and Asha- Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, New York.

In addition, the Forum's Young Global Leaders Summit will be held concurrently in Dar es Salaam and will integrate over 200 of the world's top young leaders in the meeting. Discussions will address how African nations are managing relations with key economic partners, with an increasing trend towards greater South- South cooperation. As Africa joins India and China in crossing the billion person mark, its young population, natural resources and market potential are catalysts for significant future growth and development.



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